Harry-potter

3 Travel Experiences For Harry Potter Fangirls

Just because you’re a grown-up doesn’t mean you can’t relive the childhood magic.

Halloween Costume Ideas: Top 5 Film Witches

While it’s still a month away, we’re kicking off the Halloween season with some inspiration from our favorite witchy women.  While you could just pick up a costume from your local bargain store and be any run-of-the-mill witch… we recommend you imitate one of these awesome, magical, and fearsome sorceresses of the silver screen. Get (witch)crafty!

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Winifred, Sarah and Mary – Hocus Pocus
Get your two best friends to join you as the infamous Sanderson sisters, to whom anti-ageing meant sucking the souls out of Salem’s youth. For added fun, re-enact the musical scene in which Bette Midler and her buddies perform “I Put A Spell On You”.

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Maleficent – Sleeping Beauty/Maleficent
This is one for the make-up aficionados and Halloween die-hards. Angelina Jolie was perfect as the title character in this year’s blockbuster, Maleficent. She was all horns, lips and cheekbones, and with a little planning (and a few prosthetics), you can be too!

Angelina Jolie Maleficent

The Wicked Witch of the West – The Wizard of Oz
While Glinda the Good Witch of the North was a close contender, if you have seen Wicked you will have a new respect for the wicked witch whose sister was squashed by a wayward house. Paint your face green and walk around saying, “I’ll get you my pretty… and your little dog too!” Bonus points for dressing-up your pets as the flying monkeys.

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Hermione – The Harry Potter series
Just like the actress who brought her to life, Hermione is actually a total badass and undoubtedly the real hero of the Harry Potter series. Costume catchprase: “It’s levi-O-sa, not levio-sa!”

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The Grand High Witch – The Witches
You have two costumes to choose from as the Grand High Witch from Roald Dahl’s novel adapted to the screen. There is the Grand High Witch in her “human” disguise, played by the always-glamorous Anjelica Huston… or there is the real Grand High Witch who looks something like a giant rat from a chemical testing lab.

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Who is your favorite witch?

Images via moviepilot.com, villain.wikia, tvguide.com, fanpop.com, disney.wikia, aceshowbiz.

What You Can Learn From Emma Watson’s UN Speech

Earlier this year, Emma Watson was made a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador and yesterday she launched the “HeForShe” campaign, extending a formal invitation to men and boys to get onboard the movement toward gender equality.

In her speech to the United Nations, Watson called for an end to the idea that feminism is synonymous with man-hating.

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“I decided I was a feminist and this seemed uncomplicated to me. But my recent research has shown me that feminism has become an unpopular word. Women are choosing not to identify as feminist. Apparently I am among the ranks of women whose expressions are seen as too strong, too aggressive, isolating, anti-men and, unattractive,” Watson considered.

“I am from Britain and think it is right that as a woman I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that I should be able to make decisions about my own body. I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decision making that affect my life. I think it is right that socially I am afforded the same respect as men. But sadly I can say that there is no one country in the world where all women can expect to receive these rights.”

Watson’s speech serves as a reminder, not only of her continuing awesomeness, but that feminism is not a dirty word that denotes a belief that women are better than men. She reminds us that gender equality is not about women versus men. Gender equality involves everyone.

She states that the ideas associated with traditional masculinity – as those with femininity – are extremely disabling. That, due to ideas of what constitutes a “man”, men also suffer at the hands of a society infected with gender-based discriminations.

Watson explains that the current notion of gender needs to be overhauled, for the sake of men and women:

“Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong… It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum instead two opposing sets of ideals. If we stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by what we just are – we can all be freer and this is what HeForShe is about. It’s about freedom.”

I hope we can all consider our position and what we can do to help our communities move away from gender biases and discrimination, and remind each other that we are worthy of equal treatment in the home, in the media, on the streets and in the workplace.

Read a full transcript of Emma Watson’s speech here, and visit the HeForShe website for more info.

Image via Hollywood Life.

7 Reasons To Visit Scotland

Scotland is a richly historical and unique destination, often overlooked by culture-seeking tourists who flock to Rome and Paris. Whether you’re after adventure, or city-living, Scotland has both. It’s capital, Edinburgh is an artistic hub and historical site, and is among the most uniquely beautiful cities in the world. But if it is the outdoors you crave, your wanderlust will be satisfied by a trip to the mystical Scottish highlands. If you’re unconvinced, consider my top reasons for visiting Scotland.

RELATED: Fly into a world of magic at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Castles
Who doesn’t love an opportunity to be transported into the lives of royalty? Scotland is full of such opportunities, with castles littering the country side and cityscapes. The nation’s most famous castle sits atop the city of Edinburgh and is home to the Crown Jewels of Scotland. Perhaps the second most popular – and perhaps the most picturesque – is Eilean Donan,which is poised in the middle of a loch (lake), only connected to the mainland by footbridge. It was recently restored and frequently appears in films and television shows. Fun fact: much of Monty Python and the Holy Grail was filmed in Scotland, with castles Stalker and Doune featured in the film.

shutterstock_163030091                                                                                         Eilean Donan castle

History
You’ve all seen Braveheart, right? (Mind you, any Scot will tell you this tale of William Wallace is far from accurate) This film is just a glimpse at the complicated relationship between Scotland and England, and the nation’s great history of invasion, battle and conquest. Long before England took over, the Scots fought off the mighty Roman and Viking armies, the invaders unable to conquer the rugged and uninhabitable highland territory. However, if you’re short on time, you don’t even need to leave the nation’s capital for a dose of the past – Edinburgh’s old and new towns are listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites. 

shutterstock_112513559A beautiful view of Edinburgh

Mystery
Ever wondered if there really is a Loch Ness monster? Well, there is only one way to find out…

shutterstock_136877495Castle ruins overlooking Loch Ness

Highlands
The Scottish highlands – referring to the nation’s mountainous north-western region – are a dark, sometimes miserable, but strangely alluring place. Much of the nation’s traditional customs come from the distinctive highland culture, native to the clans that remain strong in the region. Which brings me to…

shutterstock_187732982“Old Man of Storr” in the Scottish Highlands

Culture
Scotland isn’t really a place one would consider rich in culture. Yet, Scots are highly protective and proud of their local treasures and traditions. Think: Scotch (better known to us as Whisky), bagpipes, kilts, haggis, Gaelic – all of these contribute to Scotland’s great sense of nationalism.

shutterstock_196966715A parade of Scottish clan culture

Harry Potter
Speaking of culture, J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter from a little cafe in Edinburgh. Do a free walking tour in one of the most beautiful, medieval cities in the world and see where Rowling wrote the book, the cemetery and school from which she drew inspiration, and even some of the film’s shooting locations.

shutterstock_154644905All aboard the Hogwarts Express! The Glenfinnan viaduct.

Golf
Scotland is considered the home of golf as the modern game was developed in the country. The Royal and Ancient Club of St Andrews is the first golf club and is seen as a ruling body of the sport. Unlike others who perceive golf as elitist, St Andrews is actually a public golf course, run by the council and available to all.

shutterstock_95739565The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews

Fly Into A World Of Magic

Take yourself on a journey thorugh a land of mystery and magic, a place where us mere muggles can enjoy the wonders of being a witch or wizard for a day, I’m talking about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida. The theme park attached to Universal’s Islands of Adventure has just opened its new extension on August 8, taking us deep into the world of Harry Potter.

At this surreal amusement park you can come face to face with ‘an aggressive Chinese Fireball or a Hungarian Horntail’ on a fast, looped roller-coaster and live to tell the tale! You can even head into the Forbidden Forest…but watch out for Arogog’s children, remember they are only kind to Hagrid not friends of Hagrid’s.

Among these thrill rides there is also places to sit down and enjoy some quiet time in Hogsmead with a pint of Pumpkin Juice at Hogs Head, or even taste cup of butterbeer at The Three Broomsticks, which offers not only tasty beverages but a magic inspired menu for lunch or dinner. If you are one with a sweet tooth, why not pop into Honeydukes for a Cauldron Cake, pack of Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans, and one of those famous chocolate frogs?

There is even a chance to buy all your wizarding supplies, Ollivanders is the place to go if you are in search of a wand, and don’t forget the wand choses the Wizard! Plus you can use the Owl Post to send a letter back home to your muggle friends or family with a real Hogsmead stamp.

What are you waiting for? Book your seat on the Hogwarts Express, hop on board and explore an unreal world filled with excitement and enchantment.

By Amy Miller

 

Image via blog.virgin-atlantic.com

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